Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
MDC-T leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, has heightened efforts to court expelled Zanu-PF members in the form of G40 cabal, with discussions now underway on distribution of constituencies ahead of the general elections expected in July.
This comes amid reports that one of the G40 cabal members and former Bikita South Member of Parliament Mr Jappy Jaboon provided his trucks to ferry MDC-T party supporters to attend a rally at Nyika Growth Point in Bikita district last week.
Mr Chamisa was recently captured posing for a picture with the Zanu-PF expelled trio of Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (former Mwenezi East), Mr Jaboon (former Bikita South) and Mr Shadreck Mashayamombe (Harare South).
A highly placed source said Mr Chamisa had been holding meetings with the trio on how to accommodate them ahead of the polls.
“There are constituencies that we as MDC-T has traditionally lost to Zanu-PF,” said a source in the MDC-T.
“Such constituencies like Mwenezi East, Harare South and Bikita, these G40 members can put up a better fight than us and it is prudent to field them subject to us agreeing on terms.
“It is in that context that we are holding discussions with them and hopefully a deal would be struck. At the moment nothing has materialised, but Mr Jaboon provided his trucks to ferry our supporters to Nyika growth point for our rally as a sign of good faith.”
Another source said while Mr Jaboon and Mr Mashayamombe did not attend the MDC-Alliance rally at Nyika growth point, they were spotted in Bikita on the day of the rally.
“We know that they are members of the new political outfit, New Patriotic Front, but we want to work with them,” said the source. “We hope they will either persuade their party to join the bigger tent or they come as individuals.”
Another source said the discussions had already created fissures with some MDC Alliance partners who felt insecure by the possible coming in of the G40 cabal.
“Yes, they can complain, but we have also noted that some of these partners have no party structures to talk about,” said another source.
MDC-T senior officials were not available for comment as they were reportedly in South Africa meeting party structures.
The party’s acting organising secretary, Mr Amos Chibaya, said the issue of G40 members had not officially been discussed.
“Nothing has officially been discussed about that issue,” he said. “As MDC-T, we want everyone to come on board to fight Zanu-PF.”
Mr Jaboon said he had not joined MDC Alliance, saying the picture of them with Mr Chamisa was taken about two months ago.
“Yes, I own trucks and anyone is free to hire them, including MDC Alliance,” he said. “It was purely a business transaction. Indeed, we were in Bikita around the time when MDC Alliance held its rally, but Mashayamombe and myself were just in Bikita to attend a funeral of one of our colleagues who had died.
“Our presence in Bikita had nothing to do with the MDC Alliance rally.”
The MDC-T recently split with its vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe, national chairperson Mr Lovemore Moyo, organising secretary Mr Abednico Bhebhe and spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu after Mr Chamisa usurped power following the death of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in February.